maybe tagging posts with TWs is morally superior because it’s the ethical thing to do
I didn’t want to reblog anything because whatever, and nemesissy has some very good posts going on about it that I don’t wanna interrupt, but seeing this:
I was grading student papers last night — grading one paper which mentioned the word “triggering” in relation to embodiment — and I posted on Facebook about whether it’s fair or sadistic to ask for a scholarly definition of “triggering”. This started a whole thread of people making sarcastic comments along the lines of “PTSD is the new ‘The dog ate my homework’”, which I found funny and kind of true.
I just think, okay, I want to engage in this interesting conversation about the meanings of words and the history of how we talk about bodies and memory! Except that the conversation is explicitly designed to exclude students with disabilities. Literally a professor comes out and says “myself, professor, professor at a public university which has a disability resource center, and my colleagues in academia, think that this disability which probably my students have documented here at my public university with a disability accommodation process, I think that this particular mental illness is fake, and a joke.” I really am trying to highlight how absurd it is for a professor to make this claim, not just because it’s a fucked up and pretty much nothing more than a flailing abuse of power and also a weak argument, but because, like, what is your job if you struggle to work with students like this, I dunno. And all the time I spend working with my public university’s ADA operations and accessibility resources, and all the literature about how important it is for professors to work with disability advocates and, most importantly, not express opinions about the validity of their students’ disabilities, and all the times specialists and professors have assured me that most professors don’t make judgments like this, yeah, yeah, okay.
I also wanna flag the “PTSD is a trend” nonsense, but also, hey, if you are uncomfortable with feeling like all of your students have PTSD, hey, I dunno, maybe don’t choose the career where you have to teach college women, or also, maybe especially, don’t teach at a school with something of a reputation for sexual violence issues, maybe. Or probably like, don’t teach.
I wonder what this kind of thing would look like to the disability resource center.
i can’t sleep and all i can’t think of w/r/t to incommensurati’s post is that it represents the casual dismissal of disability that happens SO OFTEN in queer/trans communities under the guise that the experience of disability is the same as the experience of being queer/trans in relation to trauma. it’s an attitude of bland acceptance of people with disabilities as long as their needs match yours because you ~*~get trauma~*~ until they ask for something that requires you to change your behavior or that gets in the way of what they want a space to look like.
i have almost never seen trigger warnings/trigger language represented as a way to “shut down discussion” as stated here:
But “triggering” talk is sometimes used in interpersonal and community conversations to shut down discussion: “This is triggering!” can be used to trump another person’s feelings or ideas, because the most injured person wins the most moral superiority.
if we are going to talk about an economy of pain, the winner in the above scenario is the person who is the least injured, who can sit back and write a blog post about how PTSD is funny and a “trend.” the message seems to be that if you are a person with a disability and you are asking for someone to pay attention to how they talk so that you can participate in a space, for reasonable accomodation in a space of discourse, you are performing moral superiority.
i don’t think that anyone who uses or requests trigger warnings thinks of their “psyche as always vulnerable to threat and thus needing to be preemptively “made safe” at all times, resulting in huge arguments about safe space.” to me it is more of a bookmark or a way to skip things i don’t have the energy to read until i have the energy to read them. it is a cataloging of content rather than a demand to not speak. generally people i see on the internet who use tw tags write triggering content themselves and tag it so that others can choose to participate in that conversation as they can.
last for this moment, but i really fucking hate professors who think their students are always trying to pull the wool over their eyes, especially when it comes to disability. i don’t understand why you would become a professor if you didn’t have some fucking trust in your students and enjoyment in their learning process. i don’t understand positioning your students as always taking advantage of you and trying to get away with not doing the work in your class. just get a copy of margaret price’s mad at school and actually read it.
i have more to say about the rather aristotelian rhetorical situation that incommensurati’s post is positing (a polis where all citizens should be able to speak freely!! OR ELSE) but that probably won’t get written until i can stop crying on an hourly basis lol